After deciding, redeciding and then starting over three times, I finally decided to take advantage of a gorgeous head of cauliflower, some bacon and blue cheese and then, a rarity in my kitchen, just started to cook, seeing where the gourmand gods would guide.
And the concept is definitely one to work on.
- To my taste, this version turned out overly rich, so the recipe shows both what I cooked and what I'll do another time.
- My panko-butter-pimenton topping was so-so, though I loved the color the pimenton added.
But are cauliflower, bacon and blue cheese from-the-gods good? You bet.
Now if I could only decide what to wear.
CAULIFLOWER BLUE CHEESE GRATIN
Hands-on time: 35 minutes
Oven time: About 45 minutes at 350F (from room temperature)
Serves 8 - 10
1 large head cauliflower, in florets
3 ounces bacon, diced (6 ounces was too much)
1 onion, diced
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups whole milk, warmed in microwave (3 cups was too much liquid)
3 ounces blue cheese, in chunks (6 ounces was too much)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup panko (1/2 cup was too much)
1/2 tablespoon melted butter, just enough to barely moisten (2 tablespoons was too much)
? salt ? sage ? nutmeg? some bit of taste/color for the topping
Steam the cauliflower until just cooked. Drain water from pan and return cauliflower to it.
In a saucepan, cook the bacon til crispy, removing and reserving the bacon fat as it accumulates. When the bacon's mostly cooked and about 2 tablespoons of bacon fat is in the pan (or add it from the reserved bacon grease if needed) add the onion and saute until golden. Stir in the flour and let cook 1 minute. Slowly add the warm milk, stirring in each new addition before adding more. Bring just to a boil but do not let boil. Add the blue cheese and let melt. Season to taste.
Pour the sauce over the cooked cauliflower and gently combine. Transfer to an oven-proof serving dish. Mix the topping ingredients and sprinkle lightly on cauliflower. Bake at 350F for about 45 minutes.
Estimate based on suggested ingredients/quantities, Per Serving: 194 Cal (49% from Fat, 18% from Protein, 33% from Carb); 9 g Protein; 11 g Tot Fat; 5 g Sat Fat; 17 g Carb; 4 g Fiber; NetCarb13; 99 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 337 mg Sodium; 26 mg Cholesterol; Weight Watchers 4 points